A few months
ago, I bought a light saber at a friend's garage sale. I was ridiculously
pleased with my purchase and when I bragged about it on twitter, I soon found
out that I wasn't the only one with an affinity for 'using the force.' BJ
Nemeth who is an amazing photographer, podcaster, blogger, WSOP stalwart and
media person extraordinaire brought his light saber to Vegas too. After
throwing jokes back and forth at each other on twitter for a while, we decided
to give into those little voices inside our heads (which turned out to be our
12 year old selves) and throw down, Jedi style.
It wasn't for
any particular purpose. In fact, people kept asking us why we wanted to dress
up and swing sticks at each other. The most basic answer was, 'why not?'
Life is short
and being a Grown Up takes up the lion's share of it. Let's be honest, some of
that 'being a kid' stuff is just too good to leave at the door between
adolescence and adulthood. Life can be incredibly serious sometimes and of
course, it often should be. It needs to be. But why not play?
And so, we
played. We dressed up as modern day Jedi's, we took our light sabers into the
back corridors of the Rio and we laughed our asses off, fully indulging our
desire to play 'make believe'. Thankfully, our friend (and most excellent
photographer) Melissa Hayden liked our idea and wanted to come and capture it
on film. Eric from PokerPsyche.com saw us milling about at the beginning
and he was sweet enough to come along and shoot the silliness too, which meant
that we got even more great pictures from the experience. Melissa is a new
friend for me. We'd spoken a few times and chatted on social media and we
certainly had a lot of friends in common, but until this summer I never really
had a chance to get to know her. For the record, she's an incredibly
interesting and generous soul with a lot of diverse interests. She's a member
of the poker circus and she brings her own flavour to the madness. I'm glad to
know her. She created some
incredible large-scale prints for us of her favourite shots of Jedi Master BJ
and Jedi Master Kara. It may sound childish but it's one of my favourite
memories of the past few years.
into detail, the last 5 years have been undoubtedly some of the hardest and
most painful of my life. They've also been some of the best. It has been extreme,
this rollercoaster ride and that intensity has really distilled life down to
the basics for me. I've traveled an enormous amount, reconnected with people
from my childhood and met new friends who I will carry with me for life. I've
somehow, through luck and good timing and hard work and a generally charmed
life, managed to come to a place where I'm just incredibly happy and content.
Ahem. Back to
the Jedi stuff.
So why bother?
Sure we could have just talked about doing a Luke and Darth. We could have just
traded silly banter and Star Wars jokes on twitter with left it at that. Why
actually do it? It wasn't exactly easy. Bringing my light saber to Vegas meant
that I had to forgo the ease of flying in and instead make the 7 hour drive
myself so that I could put the damn thing in my trunk rather than facing
security at the airport. And then we had to find the time - we're all pretty
slammed during the WSOP. It's an intense amount of work and finding time when
we'd all be free to do it, that took a lot of wrangling. Why bother putting the
actual effort into it?
Simply put, that
moment when I realized that I wanted to have fun more than I wanted to look
'cool' was an important one for me. I was standing there in my silly clothes,
waving a light saber around and making the sound effects for it myself (BJ's
was a newer model that actually MADE the sounds - very flashy) while laughing
like I hadn't in ages. And I thought, "Huh. This is exactly where I want to be
in my life right now. How incredibly lucky am I?"
As usual, I have
some big decisions to make in the next few months. Where to live is at the top
of that list. I'm leaning towards relocating back to Europe but wherever it is,
I'm hoping to spend a little less time on the road. I did a count yesterday and
in the past 14 months, I've spent a total of less than 3 1/2 months in my own
'home.' I love, adore, am grateful for my job and my life and the adventure it
gives me but I want a little bit more time to 'play' in my own home, with my
friends. I keep saying this but maybe this year I'll actually do it. It's my
birthday in 2 weeks. That's a good time to think about new beginnings.
So yes, this
summer is going to be about trying to figure out some more of these big
questions. But it's also going to
be about playing. There is going to be a LOT of playing.